The Archaeology of Upper Coquetdale

Cross Dyke on Clennell Street
Cross Dyke on Clennell Street

The archaeology of Upper Coquetdale tells us the story of life in the hills and plains of the River Coquet over countless generations. From the spectacular ramparts of Iron Age hillforts overlooking the valleys, to the ruined walls of medieval castles, these remains are all around us. Ancient settlements, intriguing monuments and mysterious carvings litter the landscape, all providing clues about how our ancestors lived, worked, and played hundreds and even thousands of years ago.

Sometimes the evidence is subtle; tiny stone tools and pieces of prehistoric pottery lie on the surface of ploughed fields, whilst carved stone from medieval buildings can be seen, re-used, in the walls of buildings in many Coquetdale villages.

 

Even more clues lie buried under the fields, unseen and often undisturbed. These clues can only be seen from high above the ground, using aerial photographs, or by excavating, carefully removing earth to reveal and investigate the buried remains.

The floor at Hepden Burn
The floor at Hepden Burn

There is much to be explored, investigated and understood about the archaeology of Coquetdale.  Many of the stories of the past still lie hidden, and with very little research undertaken during the past hundred years we are only beginning to tell the tale. Coquetdale Community Archaeology offers the chance to redress the balance, and to discover the people and places of the valley’s extraordinary past.

Prehistoric flint arrowhead found whilst fieldwalking
Prehistoric flint arrowhead found whilst fieldwalking
The wheel pit, Barrowburn Mill
The wheel pit, Barrowburn Mill